The rate at which IU’s student loan debt decreased last year is more than 5 times the average drop for public universities nationally.
The university began sending out letters to students in the 2012-2013 academic year, laying out each person’s financial situation.
Associate VP of University Student Services and Systems James Kennedy says the move came after faculty members expressed concerns that students were complaining to them about not knowing how much debt they were accumulating.
“That was kind of a wake-up for us to say, you know we really need to have more kind of an annual letter and other things that we can talk to students about just so they’re fully aware of their student loan debt at all times,” Kennedy says.
The university also points to a financial literacy initiative launched last year.
But Professor Don Hossler says the drop in debt probably has more to do with the recession rather than university programs.
“Frankly, I think those initiatives are too new to have had that much effect on student debt,” he says.
Hossler thinks the initiatives are a positive step, but he says overall people are just more cost sensitive and aware of what they’re spending.